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Hi all,

Here's one question that I would like to raise out. My mother is having chest pain these 2 days, though the symptom is not long standing (just a few minutes), but I was worried so sent my mom for a doctor (GP).

However, after the GP checked my mom's heartbeat, pulse, BP, and stomach, he claimed that every result is in the normal rate (is not painful in stomach when he pressed on, so he said that it may not related with GERD or other gastro symptoms). For another information, my mom had a history of leg nerve problem, so she been prescribed for a long term neuro-related drugs and she taken it for more than 5 years, so can exclude the chest pain symptom is related with the drugs taken. At last, GP concluded that my mom's symptom may caused by some sort like 'muscle contraction' in chest, and may caused by psychological as well.

Though it's 'nice' when heard that everything is normal, but I was still worried thus I wish everyone here can share with me or give me some information about it, though I understood that it's recommeded to sent for ER if chest pain occured. Your contribution is most appreciated, thank you very much!!!

p/s: Do psychological problem also caused chest pain?


Kelvin from Malaysia


Firstly, an alert - I am not a medical professional - but I have had a father with a triple by pass, a friend recently in hospital for chest pains, and a father of a friend lose his flying license to angina - so I hear the stories, and have some familiarity, enough to say that you're right to be concerned.

Second, heartbeat, pulse, BP and stomach will not detect heart abnormality - you might as well look at a cardboard box and hope to guess its contents. For the kind of anomaly that can easily be a real heart issue, you need to monitor the electrical activity of the heart, as was the case with my friend very recently (and at 50, perhaps younger than your mother).

Third, a repeatable issue is less likely to be trivial. A one off 'something I ate' scenario is not the same as repeated pains in the chest.

Could it be physical (ie: non-heart related) - of course, but if your mom's pectoral muscle stops for a minute, that's a niggle, but if her heart stops for a minute, it's all over: basically, you're right to take this seriously, and while there's a limit as to how far to go, that limit is decided by you, the resources available, and how much your country is willing to cooperate, or you're willing to fly her somewhere for tests. Be aware: if you're right and she has a heart condition, flying her may not be the right thing to do, but you must take that into consideration yourself.

Finally, yes, psychological problems cause all pain - is one school of thought, which says that our mind has absolute control over the condition of our body, so by definition all pain is caused by the mind, so in a sense all pain is psychological

Even the most cynical western doctor will admit that stress causes bodily problems, and what is stress? Not being chased by lions, we don't have any (over here, nor I suspect does Manila - tigers?). Stress is entirely caused by the mind in today's world, so even western doctors have to admit, though they may try to avoid it, that the mind generates the problem, resulting in physical symptoms.

Last thing, and I offer it for you, is that your care and concern for your mother is admirable. Do what you can, but recognise also what you can't.